I’ve Been Using AI To Write Better Articles for Almost 1 Year. Here’s How to Make The Most of It
No, this isn’t about copying/pasting AI-generated text.
AI for writing is a controversial topic. Some love it, while others hate it.
Regardless of your opinion towards AI, let me tell you something: If you don’t start using AI for writing, someone else will and you’ll be at a disadvantage.
Now, some hate AI because they only know the lazy way to use it for writing articles, but there’s also the smart way, and ironically, it has to do more with the entire writing process than with typing (or copying) words.
Here’s how AI has helped me write better articles.
Idea generation: Let AI tell you what topics are going viral on YouTube and other platforms
Whenever I don’t know what to write about, I use AI to see what YouTubers and writers are talking about in their recent videos/articles. That gives me inspiration for my next topics.
In the past, I had to visit each YouTuber/writer’s profile and write down what they’ve recently published and how many views they got. However, now with ChatGPT plugins, I can get the title of multiple videos/articles, the number of views (if publicly available), and the date published in seconds.
The plugin I use for this is called Scraper and you can find it in the ChatGPT Plugin Store. Here’s the prompt I use to get ideas for my next articles.
I’ll provide link to YouTube channels. You have to scrape the latest 5 videos they published and build a table with the following data.
— Date published
Here are some links:
<paste links here>
I quite often write about AI, so the links I provide are from well-known AI YouTube channels. Here’s what I got using the previous prompt.
You can try the same prompt with other sites, but I prefer to do it with YouTube because it has the views publicly available, so I can quickly see what topics most people are interested in right now.
And when I say “right now” I mean it! This plugin extracts data in real-time. At the moment I’m writing this article, Matt Wolfe’s latest video was published 10 hours ago and has 14k views, which is the same number that ChatGPT provided.
Note: Lately some websites like YouTube are updating their web scraping policy, so sometimes this ChatGPT plugin might fail. If that happens, regenerate the response (for more info about this plugin, check this article I wrote).
Research: Let AI do quick research and take notes for you
Writing articles sometimes involves more research than writing. Fortunately, doing research has become easier and faster with ChatGPT.
In the past, I had to spend a lot of time watching videos and reading articles to get the information I wanted, but now with ChatGPT plugins, I can quickly summarize papers, articles, and videos.
There are dozens of plugins but my favorite for video summary is Video Captions because it extracts the captions of a YouTube video and then I can ask ChatGPT to create an article using the video captions.
No, I don’t publish the AI-generated article. Instead, I use it in different ways. Here are some of them.
I skim through the video: Instead of watching a whole video, I quickly read the AI-generated article to find the main points.
I let AI take notes for me: I don’t need to stop the video to take notes over and over again. Most of the main ideas of the video will be covered in the AI-generated article. After turning the video into an AI-generated article, press CTRL+F, and search for a keyword. That’s how you navigate through your AI-generated notes.
I come up with new ideas: Sometimes after reading the AI-generated article, I realize that the video doesn’t have the info I was looking for, but some points can still be used for new articles.
There might be other tools that can do this job, but with ChatGPT you get some additional perks.
For example, you can start a conversation with the all-knowing ChatGPT to delve deeper into a topic discussed in the video. When writing this article about how to learn AI, I summed up some YouTube videos to look for info I might have missed and then asked ChatGPT about the info found. Also, when Python was released in Excel, I asked ChatGPT to imagine a scenario where Python was available within Excel in order to list some benefits this new release would have for data analysts. That helped me cover some points I was missing in my final piece.
The idea is the same if you want to sum up articles or papers. The benefits are the same too. You have to use different plugins though. I use Link Reader and AskYourPDF (for more info, check here)
Here’s the prompt I use for this (don’t forget to turn on plugins when using it).
Act as a blogger. I’ll give you links to YouTube videos. You have to extra the captions from the videos and create an article about it.
Here are some important notes to take into account:
1. Don’t start writing the article before extracting all the video captions. If you still don’t have the captions of the full video (or can’t extract it in one prompt), let me know
2. Let me know if the article you generate is still incomplete because you can’t generate everything in 1 prompt or any other reason
Here’s the first link:
<paste link here>
Articles images: Let AI generate unique and eye-catching images for you
The images and the article title are what drive people to your article, yet many of us still use free stock images that were used hundreds of times by other writers and seen thousands of times by readers.
The good part of AI images is that they’re (almost) unique.
With tools like Midjourney, you only need to come up with a prompt to create good images for your articles.
Say, I’m writing an article on how to become an effective learner and I want to put Albert Einstein on the cover of my article. Unsplash has cool images of Einstein, but Midjourney can produce even cooler and more eye-catching images of him. Midjourney becomes even more useful when the image you’re looking for isn’t available for free or even on paid stock photo sites.
Midjourney has been my go-to AI tool for generating AI images over the past months, but just last week, I started to use OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 which is now included in ChatGPT.
DALL-3 is gaming-changing for those with little experience in generating AI images.
Why? You no longer need to come up with complex prompts on your own to create amazing images. With DALL-E 3, you only have to type the first thing that comes to mind and it’ll generate 4 prompts for you with the images.
A few months ago, I struggled to create the image for an article about “building a second brain with AI.” After many attempts, I generated this with Midjourney.
But it only took me minutes to generate the image below with DALL-E 3. The prompt I used to create it was “super-brain, flies into the sky in a red cloak” and DALL-E 3 rewrote my prompt and turned it into the prompt below.
Render of a glowing ‘Super-Brain’, enveloped in a radiant aura, with a deep red cloak trailing, as it propels itself higher into the starry night sky.
I prefer these images generated with DALL-E 3.
DALL-E 3 is good for those who are new to generating AI images or can’t come up with the exact words to describe the image they want. That said, I still use Midjourney because it produces better images overall.
Now there’s no excuse not to use AI images in your articles.